845 million possible fans – what’s not to like?

Statistics: We had 845 million monthly active users at the end of December 2011. Approximately 80% of our monthly active users are outside the U.S. and Canada. We had 483 million daily active users on average in December 2011. We had more than 425 million monthly active users who used Facebook mobile products in December 2011. Facebook is available in more than 70 languages.

(Source: Facebooks newsroom Feb 26th 2012 – article is no longer available at facebook.com)
Does your company/brand/product have a Facebook Page? If not, have you considered joining the party? The Facebook statistics alone make a lot of companies consider letting their company/brand/product be a part of the “game”. But there are even more reasons for being on Facebook than these numbers. Read on and learn about some of the top reasons why you should join in!

#1 Reach current and potential customers
According to Nielsen Company’s 3Q2011 Social Media Report (can be found online at www.nielsen.com), social networks and blogs reach over three-quarters of active internet users across a snapshot of 10 major global markets. According to the same report, a lot of people respond to retailers’ offers posted on Facebook or Twitter: … 60 percent of people who use three or more digital means of research for product purchases learned about a specific brand or retailer from a social networking site. Forty-eight percent of these consumers responded to a retailer’s offer posted on Facebook or Twitter.
Being present on social media gives you huge potential for growth. The possibility of reaching target customers and getting a response is very likely.
I hear some people stating that their customers aren’t on Facebook, and therefore they don’t want to have a company page. You really need to make sure that this is accurate information. If you don’t, you might well be missing out on an opportunity to reach a huge number of both current and potential customers.
Hint: always start your digital marketing/Facebook project by assessing your company’s current status and your goals for digital communication – thorough analysis and strategy work pays off!

#2 Engage with you customers on their terms, and make powerful communication
With Facebook you get to engage with your fans on a platform of their choosing, which makes it less formal and gives it a much more individual touch than other channels of communication, which makes communication much more powerful. You can discuss relevant issues for your company/brand/product/industry, make surveys, handle customer inquiries etc. on Facebook, and get direct and valuable response from you customers or potential customers.
Hint: make sure you don’t automatically feed your wall from Twitter and other places. First of all, the users don’t like too much information, and second you get better ranks on people’s newsfeed if you make your own posts. Communicate on the users’ terms and get the most out of the way Facebook works.

#3 Great possibilities for tracking the results of your communication
Facebook provides a great tracking tool for your fan page: Facebook Insights. With Facebook Insights you get a lot of information about your fans. By using this tool you can see your fans broken down by gender, age, location and languages. You get information on the reach of your posts – how many engaged in them, the number of people talking about your post etc.
Hint: the insights aren’t of much use unless you have set specific goals for your presence on Facebook. Your strategy must contain measurable goals and you must do regular follow-ups on your progress.

#4 Targeted advertising
With Facebook ads, you can run ads that allow you to reach specific users based on demographics: age, gender, age, location, education and interests. Adverts can be used for announcing your page, inviting people to like you, and announcing special offers and events.
Hint: According to online sources, Facebook is changing the way ads function. Gigaom is writing about it here: http://gigaom.com/2012/02/21/facebook-is-set-to-release-a-new-premium-ads-product/

So, you see – there are many reasons why Facebook can be a powerful marketing tool for your business. Will I see you there?

Benefit from using social media on Valentine’s Day.

An hour ago, I logged into Facebook and the first story in my newsfeed was from the Maersk Group. Their post made me smile instantly for two reasons: it was personal and touching, and it was great marketing (and I LOVE great marketing!) How they did it? They combined a story of relating to one another, which is the essence of Facebook, with Valentine’s Day celebrations.

The post by Maersk Group read: With offices in over 140 countries and over 108,000 employees Maersk Group has a diverse group of people working together globally every day. Within this diverse working environment there are bound to be a few matches made in heaven, or in this case, Maersk! To celebrate Valentine’s Day, here are a few stories from our employees who met their soul mates while working at Maersk. Read more here: http://bit.ly/xhdsAT

How cool is that! Employees get to share their stories, which they undoubtedly like or they wouldn’t have done it, and Maersk is portrayed as a company that value happy employees (and let employees date – not all companies welcome employees dating!). Social media is about people relating to each other, and what better way to portray this? A great and relevant story on Valentine’s Day.

Of course there’s probably some people out there who don’t appreciate Valentine’s Day and therefore don’t care about the story or – or maybe even get a negative impression. I believe, however, that the Maersk post will make a whole lot of people smile and think positively about Maersk. I know it made me smile! The post by Maersk is brilliant branding – and it was so easy to do. Interview some employees, collect some pictures and post the story. That is great marketing made easy.

Have a great Valentine’s Day!

Big potential: your opportunities on Facebook

I launched my company page on Facebook a couple of days ago. Inviting my Facebook friends to join, writing a great welcome-text on the fan page and posting one message on LinkedIn got me 52 fans in just 22 hours. Think of the potential. If I can keep this up for a week, I will have more than 300 fans. And I haven’t even started using Facebook ads, yet! Wow. Just imagine what the number could be in a year!

There is huge potential for companies using Facebook Pages! There is no doubt about that. But many companies haven’t found out, yet. Some do not see how they can benefit from Facebook, some see Facebook as a waste of time, and some actually have a page, but don’t update it, and therefore don’t reach the goals they set and think it’s worthless. There are many examples. I do understand why some companies hesitate. Using Facebook for marketing your business, service or products requires the same amount of planning and strategy as does using any other marketing tool – and it requires time and the full attention of one or more employees. But if you take the potential into consideration, it just might be worth your while. And contrary to many beliefs, it is possible to measure the effect of your investments. There are a number of tools, e.g. your own sales statistics, Facebook’s “Insights”, software that measures the effect of campaigns – and of course there’s the number of likes you can measure!

If you haven’t done so already, please like my Facebook page and follow my progress.